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Data strategy and market intelligence for pharma

Luca Ricci

Pharma is a multifaceted and delicate sector, as direct-to-consumer communication concerns the health status of users, with complications both at the level of trust for brands and at the level of data management. 

Difficulties and opportunities, however, now balance each other, in a dynamic scenario that has seen several upheavals in the recent past. 


Digital scenario in B2C pharma, the challenges

Regarding pharma retail on the end consumer, the pandemic has impacted strongly, bringing consequences that are still ongoing, such as: 

the spread of e-commerce even for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs and supplements, previously purchased almost only live

increased online misinformation and a certain sense of distrust toward pharmaceutical companies

the ability to communicate with the user despite increasingly tight privacy policies

How to turn these phenomena of the pharma scenario into business opportunities?


Pharma opportunities thanks to martech 

The positive side of the coin, compared to what was listed earlier, is digital itself, which has led to the shortening of distances, direct contact via online channels with physicians and professionals but also the desire of consumers to understand and inform themselves by interfacing directly with manufacturers in the pharmaceutical and medical world. 

The basis of an effective martech strategy for pharma, according to ByTek, is market intelligence, i.e., the study of search trends and peaks of interest-periodic and seasonal-with respect to specific queries by target customers. Only by really knowing what your target audience is looking for, and when, and with what terms, is it possible to have a clear view of the scenario in which you are moving. 

And this is even more valid today, when you consider that Google is the number one source of medical information-according to April 2022 Statista research-even ahead of the general practitioner, for an increasing percentage of people across Europe. As many as 53 percent of Italians, for example, say they research their ailment online first, and only beyond a certain severity do they tell their doctor about it. 

In this scenario, understanding users’ searches becomes essential to understand all the needs and wants and also understand the misinformation that needs to be combated.

Not only that, this is also essential from the perspective of brand protection, since it is possible to track down fake news and inaccuracies, so frequent today online in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, and respond in the most appropriate way: only in this way can pharma companies regain their authority and consumer trust. 

Collecting and properly managing data, particularly first-party data by segmenting their customer db, also allows them to stimulate demand with targeted strategies without breaking regulations and prohibitions and to build end-customer loyalty with a customized omni-channel strategy. 


Digital strategy for dealing with health professionals

What happens, however, in a more professional perspective, that is, in contact with physicians? All the opportunities that martech offers to keep the relationship with the end consumer strong can also be applied, with the right declination or with ad hoc technologies, in the relationship with the physician.

For example, there is the whole world called e-detailing that is based on a combination of actions done directly by the medical informant, who today works much more remotely thanks to technology. For example, specific monitoring can be done to check if the physician is reading our content, if he or she has attended one of our webinars, creating a comprehensive view of the interests and engagement that physician has with us.

With this framework, we can set up a stronger relationship with all those physicians who have shown a significant interest rate over the years and who, therefore, more easily will be led to prescribe our drugs, so we can invest more with them.

All of this is achieved with a properly configured CRM for pharma and all the interest tracking that we can put in place with our advanced GA4 configuration, then combining the data from one and the other through big query.